God in the Impossible
Every family has stories that get told, retold, then told again. In our family, there is one in particular that shaped me from the time I was a little kid. When my Mom was in her third trimester, she went to the doctor’s office for a routine visit. The nurse came in to do parts of the check-up and then brought in the doctor. Both looked alarmed. After several minutes, the doctor sat down beside the bed and told my Mom they were unable to find a heartbeat. He told her to try to stay calm, but that they wanted to run some more tests. After several other tests, the doctor came back in, sat beside the bed and confirmed “your baby has died.”
For several minutes following, the doctor and the nurses explained what would happen next, what the options were, and what the pregnancy process would look like moving forward. What I love about the story is that my Aunt and my Mom’s initial response following that visit was to gather and pray with a small group of people. Doctor visits like that tend to feel like a period to a sentence, but to both of them it wasn’t. They gathered together. They prayed. They were submitted to God whether it was true or not, but prayed with faith that God would move in spite of what felt impossible.
The impossible was an opportunity for God. For weeks, they gathered together and they prayed. For weeks, there was no movement in the womb, no heartbeat, and no sign that anything was changing. I heard my Aunt once describe those moments of praying as if it was a constant adjusting of their focus. The prayer wasn’t to coerce God into doing what they wanted. Prayer was a means to adjust their focus on a God who was bigger than the impossible situation that stood in front of them.
That’s faith. Faith is a redirection of focus that looks beyond the mountain in front of you and on to the God who is powerful over it all. It’s the acknowledgement of full submission, while holding on to promises that God has made.
After weeks of those small prayer gatherings, my Mom woke up to a baby kicking. Out of nowhere. Weeks of no sign of life, then all of a sudden there was a kick and then another. You can imagine how surprised the doctors were and even how surprised the people were from that small prayer gathering. God had shown up in the impossible circumstance.
A week ago in our staff meeting, I talked about the principle around God and the Impossible. One my favorite moments in the writings of the Bible is when Moses is standing at the Red Sea with all of the Israelites. They had fled Egypt and were being pursued by Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian army. They were blocked and seemingly waiting to be killed. The writer of Exodus talks about how someone spoke up and said, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?” There is always “that guy”…
It’s in that moment of impossibility that Moses stands firm and waits. There’s a centeredness there. It’s deeper than trying to coerce God to do what Moses thought was best. The most creative of solutions would have never come close to what God was about to do on their behalf. It was more than they could have ever asked or imagined (you can read that prayer in Ephesians 3:20). Moses stood in faith and waited for direction.
God waited until the Egyptians were in sight and impossibility felt at it’s peak and then He parted the waters to let the entire nation pass through. Moses knew and lived in the faith that every impossibility is an opportunity for God.
As we talked as a staff, I challenged everyone to identify 3 of the impossible areas that they would like to see God move in. I challenged them to write them down, put them in a spot where they will see it everyday and then pray over each one. I never want us to stop believing God for the impossible.
I want that for you as well. Often times, we let the impossible circumstance dictate our view on what is to be. I have to believe that as Moses looked out on the Red Sea he saw things differently than the people who were turned around watching the Egyptian army charge closer. The view of Moses wasn’t on the circumstance, but on the one who was powerful enough to change the circumstance.
I talk to people all the time who view their marriage as an impossible situation that will never be restored. There are people who look at their kids who are in their 20’s or 30’s and have walked away from everything they believe. It feels like an impossible circumstance. Some of my favorite stories are when people tell me about friends they want to invite, but they know they would never step foot in a church. Impossible circumstance. I see people walk very difficult journeys through physical health and have been given what seems to be an irreversible outcome. Impossible circumstance. I’ve talked to people who are looking at a career change that came out of nowhere and look at what’s on the horizon and it feels like an impossible circumstance.
My hope for you is that as those moments come, you pause and remind yourself that…
Impossibility is always an opportunity.
It’s not up to you to coerce God to move. It’s your job to adjust your focus from the impossibility before you to the God who is FOR you.
Impossibility is the stage by which God often works the most to build our faith. There is only one name that eclipses the impossible in our lives… Jesus.
- Write out 3 impossible circumstances that you want to see God move within.
- Schedule out time each day to pray over those areas.
Patrick Holden | Lead Pastor